Covid-19 has impacted all our lives and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Providing support to those who need it has remained our most pressing concern. Where there are challenges, there are invariably opportunities. The challenges presented by Covid-19 have been no different and we are proud that we have risen to the challenge and seized the opportunity to try new ideas and innovative ways of engaging with clients.
We are pleased to have been able to continue to provide the following services throughout this period, including:
Phone lines – all phone lines continue to operate, and we continue to provide a point of contact for our clients and partners as usual. We have seen an increased level of engagement over the past six months. Currently we deliver phone, Teams, Zoom and Skype services for more than 2,000 clients each week.
Counselling – appointments were rearranged to telephone or video calling. Some clients who were initially concerned about the transition have now engaged fully – some even prefer it. This has resulted in us being able to engage with more clients, including those in remote areas and with other barriers to access. Children’s counselling has been adapted to allow us to continue to engage with families.
New Referrals – we are continuing to support any new referrals, both self-referrals and through agencies, and can receive them via secure email or post. An online referral form is now available here.
Assessments and Welfare Checks – Our teams are contacting everyone on the waiting list and people who were previously engaged in groups, and conducting assessments, check-ins and brief solution focussed sessions. We have also started online psycho-educational groups called Bridging the Gap.
Self-Help Resources – We have a range of leaflets and booklets that we are sending out electronically. We have developed additional client resources which were adapted for remote working and have shared these with partners. These include leaflets on self-care, anxiety and panic attacks, and how to boost your mental health during COVID19. Many of these resources are available on our website: http://www.newpathways.org.uk/resources/
SARC Services – Forensic medical services are continuing to offer a full service 24/7, following the Faculty of Forensic & Legal Medicine guidelines. All SARC staff have been trained in new safety procedures and are trained to use PPE. We’ve also created two SARC coordinator positions to support the work carried out by the SARC services manager. The coordinators have been recruited from within the ISVA team and have a combined 16 years-experience with New Pathways. They will be a point of contact for the SARC team supporting them with general and client queries. This will be in addition to the ISVA function of their role.
Independent Sexual Violence Advocates (ISVAs) – ISVAs are continuing to support all clients remotely. We have created new specialist ISVA roles to address specific issues in our communities. The new Community Engagement ISVAs will focus on hard to reach areas and groups including BAME, LGBTQAI+, Rural Communities, Older Persons. The Mental Health ISVA will be the single point of contact (SPOC) on mental health, continue to improve our connections and partnerships with mental health organisations, and champion mental health issues in our ISVA team. These new roles are in addition to the Learning Disabilities SPOC, Anti-Slavery SPOC, Child Sexual Abuse SPOC and Domestic Abuse SPOC already on the ISVA team. We also have a family support worker who provides emotional and practical support to the family members of ISVA and counselling clients via telephone and online platforms.
Sexual Violence Support Workers – We recruited 11 Sexual Violence Support Workers (SVSWs), who have joined our Wellbeing Service and will carry a caseload of clients, providing psychological support and advocacy as well as co-facilitating psycho-educational groups.
Crisis Workers – our dedicated Crisis Work Team are continuing to support people during examinations. They have been trained in new COVID protocols and are equipped with PPE.
Training – Our training team have adapted training delivery, where it is suitable, to online versions and webinars. We have developed an extensive package of online training, delivering to both partner agencies and the general public alike. These have included professional development such as: Safeguarding training, Trauma-Informed Practice, and Managing Vicarious Trauma; alongside community-based Mental Health workshops, such as an Introduction to PTSD, and Managing Change and Self-Care during COVID-19. The training has been so well received that we will continue to develop courses to be delivered remotely in the future.
Staff Support – Home working assessments were carried out for all homeworking staff. Additional training, flexible working hours, and appropriate communications and IT equipment were given to all staff and volunteers to help them better manage their time, support their wellbeing and meet client needs. This has enabled us to continue to offer a full range of specialist support services to our clients, without interruption.
If you need support in any way, please do get in touch with us and we will do our best to help. We have phone bases still operating in all areas, but please be assured we will offer the same support whichever number you ring and wherever you are based.
We encourage anyone with concerns or questions to get in touch via the contact form on the website, phone or email:
Phone: 01685 379 310